Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams will unveil her third solo album, “Unexpected,” in August via Music World Entertainment/Columbia.
Music World Entertainment CEO Matthew Knowles played the project for Billboard.com last week and insisted, “It’s a pop and dance record, but don’t call it dance.”
But with its reliance on synth-y, driving bass samples, electronic keys and bopping drums, it’s difficult not to classify the record as dance. There’s a clear move away from the gospel-leaning direction of 2004’s “Do You Know,” which has sold 78,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
However, Knowles insists “Unexpected” isn’t that much of a stretch, considering the characteristically quiet Williams spent the bulk of 2007 playing the sexy character Shug Avery in Oprah Winfrey’s Chicago-based cast of “The Color Purple.”
“Destiny’s Child fans bought Michelle’s last album,” said Knowles. “So now those fans are in their late 20s and early 30s. With ‘Unexpected,’ she’ll be able to appeal to those fans and reach back to the 16-year-old audience and hit mainstream pop radio.”
“Unexpected” boasts production from Stargate, Rico Love, the Heavyweights, Wayne Wilkins, Andrew Frampton and SoulShock & Karl. “We Break the Dawn” is the first single, set to drop in April, while the Stargate-produced “Stop This Car” is the second.
The set features pulsating beats on “Lucky Girl,” where Williams uses a vocoder; “The Greatest,” utilizes a martial drum pattern and a winding piano riff; the “Pump Up the Jam”-esque “Private Party;” and the Heavyweights-produced “Thank You,” where Williams sings, “While you were out getting yours, boy I was getting mine / I want to thank you for the times you cheated on me.”
Here is the track list for “Unexpected:”
“We Break Tthe Dawn”
“Til the End of the World”
“Stop This Car”
“Too Young for Love”